I feel, baking should always coincide with the season and this morning, exemplifying Fall so vividly, I turned to fresh cranberries to add flavor to these scones.
Cranberries are one of only three fruits indigenous to America (the other two are huckleberries and Concord grapes) and I can't wait until the bogs have been flooded and these wonderful, ruby-colored berries appear in the market. In the Pacific Northwest, we're lucky enough to be able to get them locally (Oregon) and along with hazelnuts, which are also a product grown here, these scones are filled with the goodness of the season.
One of my favorite "anniversary" trips with my husband was to Nantucket when we lived in Massachusetts. Because of our schedules, we couldn't get away in September, but chose the end of October to take the ferry across to the island. It was the perfect time to take part in the Cranberry Festival and sample all the products--cakes, breads, relishes, chutneys, syrup, wine etc. The list is really too numerous, but pretty much anything can be made from these fruits including soaps and body creams!
The name cranberry comes from early settlers who thought the flower, stem and calyx resembled the neck, head and bill of a crane. It's a low growing shrub, usually in marshy areas, and can be found in most parts of the northern hemisphere. It's been deemed a "super fruit" because of its nutrient value: high in dietary fiber and minerals, Vitamin C and manganese. Also, it ranks near the top of fruits for its high measure of anti-oxidant properties.
Take heed and notice what ingredients are present in your area to use in your cooking and baking during the season. Buying local not only supports our farm families, it's the smart thing to do for a healthy lifestyle.
2 cups Queen Guinevere Cake flour
1 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1/3 cup + 1 T granulated sugar
1 T + 1tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 cup hazelnut flour (if you can't find hazelnut, you can also finely grind almond or pecan)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp. Orange oil
1 1/2 cups cranberries, washed and sliced in half
1 large + 1 tsp. cold water
Preheat oven to 375F-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, measure and mix all dry ingredients. Add the cubed, cold butter and mix on medium speed until the butter has broken down and is incorporated in the dry ingredients.
In a 2-cup measuring cup, measure the heavy cream, then, add the orange oil, egg and egg yolk. Whisk to combine.
Add to the dry ingredients, while the mixer is on low speed. Mix only until the dough comes together. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board and knead carefully to a smooth disk.
Flour a rolling pin and roll dough to about 3/4-1 inch thick. Use a 4-inch scallop cutter to cut out scones.
Repeat, kneading the scrapes of dough, until you've cut out all scones. I was able to get 8 out of this recipe.
Brush tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with the Sparkling Sugar.
I made these for my breakfast this morning, slathered in Irish Butter and a heaping spoon of my Spiced Apple Butter, along with a cup of yogurt (sprinkled with some of my leftover Krispie Crunch) it was a perfect start to the day.